AP FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017 file photo, Carlos Arredondo, center, gives a thumbs-up before participating in a Salute to Service military appreciation campaign before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass. Arredondo helped save the life of marathon spectator Jeff Bauman after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. He now volunteers with the Red Cross, and his family foundation works to prevent military-related suicides. He is preparing to run in his first Boston Marathon on April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)THEN: Millions know him as the man in the cowboy hat who helped save the life of marathon spectator Jeff Bauman, the double amputee played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2017 movie "Stronger." Arredondo had become an anti-war activist and suicide prevention advocate after one son was fatally shot by a sniper in Iraq and another killed himself, and he was at the finish line handing out American flags when the bombs went off. Instantly, Arredondo became a symbol of courage.
NOW: Arredondo continues to do whatever he can to help others. He volunteers with the Red Cross, and his Arredondo Family Foundation works to prevent military-related suicides and hand out Thanksgiving turkeys to veterans and their families. He's now preparing to run his first Boston Marathon.
In his own words: "What many people don't realize is that first responders also go through some of the same trauma as survivors. I've been dealing with some issues, but that doesn't slow me down. It's been an amazing journey."
read other inspirational stories of survivors here